By Andrea Swiedom Contributing Writer
Dale Rappaneau and Emily Marquis, the two editors in charge of this year’s Sandy River Review, are on a mission to promote art and writing submissions from all UMF students for the 39th v
Creative Writing majors at UMF are often reminded by their professors to submit to The Sandy River, but there has been little to no outreach to promote submissions amongst the rest of the students on campus.
The Sandy River Literary Journal was established in 1982 and is published once a year by two of UMF’s Creative Writing interns. Though the journal is overseen by Alice James Books, the interns have complete control over submissions.
“We don’t just publish UMF work. Right now, we have submissions from Hawaii, one from the Netherlands and one from Arkansas,” said Rappaneau.
Marquis expressed the desire for Sandy River editors to be more visible so that they can encourage all students, regardless of their major, to submit their work. “That’s why we set up the table in the student center trying to get submissions from people who aren’t creative writing majors who still like to write,” said Marquis.
Not only are the editors looking for a broader pool of UMF students to choose work from, but they are also hoping to see a diverse spread of genres.
A genre the editors would like to see is one that explores the self. “We were talking about how maybe we would want to break [The Sandy River] into sections like, personal or family-wise or community-wise and break up the pieces according to that,” explained Marquis.
Rappaneau expressed his desire to see more science-fiction and fantasy submissions. “I don’t think we could turn the magazine into strictly dystopian sci-fi all of a sudden,” said Rappaneau. He hopes his selection process for the journal will showcase genres that haven’t been represented in past anthologies.
As long as the editors uphold The Sandy River’s tradition of showcasing contemporary writing, they have the freedom to design the journal however they want, within reason.
The editors are also hoping to see a large variety of art mediums submitted to the journal this year. “Previously they [former editors] would accept photography, art, mixed media. We would like to see a lot of illustrations in this anthology,” said Rappaneau.
Adding illustrations will help make this anthology stand out from past volumes, but so will the vision for the cover design. The editors are holding a contest exclusively for UMF students to submit their art work for this volume’s cover.
To make the submission process less nerve-wrecking, students can attend the Writer’s Guild, a writing club that meets on Mondays at 7 p.m. on the third floor of the Creative Writing House. When attended regularly, the club is an ideal place to prepare pieces for submission.
Annie Moloney, who is currently the Writing Guild President, initially had her work rejected for the The Sandy River, but she received a letter from the editor encouraging her to continue working on the piece and to re-submit it.
“I brought it to Guild and I had a really good workshop there,” said Moloney, “and I eventually kind of changed the format of it from a piece of flash fiction into a monologue which was my first experience writing dramatic work.” Moloney re-submitted her edited piece, “Until It Does,” and had it published in the 36th volume of the literary journal.
The Sandy River is accepting art and writing submissions until Dec. 7 and the 39th volume will be published in May 2019. Submission guidelines can be found online at https://sandyriverreview.com.